As you have probably guessed by now, I really really like to cook. I mean, duh, I have a food blog. I am the kind of person who will labor for hours in the kitchen to make the kind of food that I know will make me feel the best and will fuel me through busy days. I’m not really someone who reaches for convenience foods, although I have to admit I’ve been buying more of them lately. Back in college, I would go out to dinner with friends any chance I had so I could try the latest restaurant, but these days, I rarely go out to dinner unless it is a special occasion or I am traveling. Every now and then, though, I get tired of meal planning, grocery shopping, and slaving over the stove for a healthy and delicious meal. Sometimes I just get a little lazy.
There’s a ton of buzz these days about meal kit delivery services like Plated and Blue Apron and the concept is great- you get all the ingredients you need for a delicious meal delivered fresh to your door so you can assemble and cook easily and without much hassle. Although these services admittedly cut out of my favorite part of meal planning- the trip to the grocery store- this makes the process of eating whole and natural foods so much easier. I don’t have to figure out how much of each ingredient I need or travel between stores trying to find exactly what the recipe calls for, and I don’t end up buying lots of unnecessary treats as I wander the aisles.
When Plated reached out to me to see if I wanted to give the service a try, I was all in! I had heard so much about the company and had already experimented with a few other delivery services but wanted to find the best one for me. I decided that I would try out Plated with a completely open mind. The company also has great sustainability practices, which is a big deal in an industry that is known for tons of packaging waste.
So, I went online and signed up for two meals- a Zucchini & Ricotta Crostata and Asian Beef Lettuce Wraps. The fresh and high quality ingredients showed up right on time at my doorstep.
Packaging and Sustainability
There was a noticeable difference in the type and volume of packaging for Plated compared to other subscription meal kits I have tried. It’s clear that the company consolidates as many ingredients as possible and uses plastic bags and containers that can be recycled, and the insulation in the box that can be chopped up and put into compost. Too bad I don’t have a compost pile, but hopefully I can take advantage of this in the future. I was pleasantly surprised to see that there was no styrofoam in this package- phew! I am still struggling a little with what to do with the ice packs that come in the box, though. The company recommends cutting them open, emptying the gel into the trashcan, washing the bags and recycling them like other plastic bags. I can’t get over the amount of gel that comes out of the bags, though, and I feel like I should do some additional research on this before jumping to a conclusion.
The Beef Lettuce Wraps were underwhelming. I love lettuce wraps and these had great flavor but the beef was a little tough and fatty. I would avoid this recipe and any others with ground beef with Plated in the future. I also wish the recipes had reviews on the website but since Plated is constantly changing the menu they don’t have the opportunity for this.
The Zucchini & Ricotta Crostata on the other hand, was a real winner! Not only was it relatively healthy, but it was so easy to assemble that I started telling all my friends about this recipe. Instead of making the crostata dough from scratch, Plated included a savory pie crust for the recipe that I flattened once it came to room temperature for the crostata base. I ended up piling my crostata really really high with vegetables but ain’t nothin’ wrong with that, right? I would definitely get this recipe again and I think I could pretty easily recreate it at home.
One of my favorite parts about Plated is that they give you the recipe cards in your package so you can keep them for the future.
For two people, you can get 3 meals a week for $72 a week. That’s $12 a meal per person. I also find that there are usually more servings than Plated estimates, especially if you don’t eat that much. I probably got 3-4 servings out of each recipe instead of the recommended 2. This price is a little higher than other meal plans I’ve seen, but I think it is totally worth trying out different services to see which ones you like the best since price is just one factor of many. Also, I try to remember myself that this is a luxury item and, although, it’s definitely a little more expensive than cooking from scratch at home, it’s also way cheaper than eating out at a restaurant.
Would I use Plated again?
Overall, I would definitely use Plated again. Although I don’t need this convenience service very often, it would be great to have a kit delivered when I am returning home from a trip and don’t have groceries. I’ve officially discovered that I am in fact a fan of the convenience foods!
** If you want to give Plated a try (which I highly recommend), you can use this link to get your first dinner for two people FOR FREE!
I received two free recipes from Plated as a part of this post and was not further compensated. All opinions are my own. There are affiliate links throughout the post. Thank you for supporting the brands that make 24 Carrot Life possible.